03 September 2007

Singapore, 3 September 2007 - The next time you see someone tapping a handphone on a bus or train reader, don't be surprised. This is just one example of how traveling could be made easier for commuters in the future.

Today, EZ-Link and StarHub announced a forward-looking strategic partnership that could enable StarHub mobile users to use their mobile phone to pay their bus and train fares, as well as purchase meals and groceries. This is made possible through the deployment of Near-Field Communication or NFC technology.

Sometimes referred to as a 'contact-less' application, NFC is a short-range wireless technology which transfers data between devices over a short distance. Under the EZ-Link-StarHub partnership, this technology will be primarily integrated into mobile phones, turning these phones into payment devices that could soon be accepted at over 20,000 ez-link terminals on buses, trains and at retail locations that accept ez-link payment. Besides being able to use their NFC-enabled mobile phones as a means of payment at all ez-link acceptance points, users could also use them for other innovative 'contact-less' mobile phone applications.

Internal trials are currently being conducted and plans are underway to trial the technology with pre-selected StarHub post-paid mobile customers. These customers will be given the opportunity to trial the new NFC technology at all ez-link terminals. Further information on this trial will be provided soon.

"The ez-link purse is a versatile contact-less technology that offers limitless possibilities in transit and a whole suite of other applications. This collaboration shows that the ez-link purse could be seamlessly integrated with an advanced technology like NFC to bring about greater ease of payment and new services. We are extremely pleased to partner with StarHub as they share the same commitment and vision with us to continually leverage on new technologies to benefit users," said Mr Nicholas Lee, Senior Vice President of Business and Technology at EZ-Link.

Said Mr Anil Nihalani, Vice President of StarHub's Mobile Services, "this partnership is in keeping with StarHub’s continuing focus on simplifying our customers’ lives through innovative services and applications. Integrating the NFC technology into the mobile phone will open up vast opportunities for StarHub to develop new payment and non-payment mobile applications in the near future."